If you take the time to examine the major return of the French manicure, much of it can be attributed to nostalgia. Yes, the muted, sleek style and colors typically found in a French manicure are enough to question why they were ever “out” to begin with, but surely it’s no mistake that its latest rise coincides with the full-fledged ‘00s revival everywhere right now. But when you’re a 26-year-old pop star, being on-trend isn’t enough — you have to start new ones. That’s certainly the case with Dua Lipa’s chrome French manicure, featuring shimmery, snake-green tips in a reflective, metallic finish. While the actual French tips might be nostalgic, the chrome makes the entire look rather futuristic — future nostalgia, if you will.
Despite her early adoption of the trend, though, Lipa isn’t the only major celebrity going for chrome-accented French manicures. Lizzo — who might rank as one of the top three celebrities with the best manicures — showed off a gold-tinted version of the look on her Instagram just last month. And while they weren’t fashioned into a French manicure, Megan Thee Stallion (another star with elite taste in nails) did do a deep, reflective chrome down the length of her long, square-tipped set.
In Lipa’s case, the glassy green nails are the work of celebrity manicurist Michelle Humphrey, whose other clients include stars like Priyanka Chopra, Kim Petras, and Elizabeth Hurley. In her opinion, chrome nails have only just begun to trend. “Chrome nails have been a huge hit recently and they're going to be in demand over the incoming fall season,” Humphrey explains exclusively to TZR. “Chrome is evolving, chrome designs are becoming more advanced and complex with nail technicians being able to create custom designs using chrome.”
But even Humphrey didn’t expect to see French manicures return with such fanfare — “I never thought it would come back but it did!” — and says she’s even seeing the exact nail art she did back in 2006 on her Instagram Explore feed. “The ‘90s and ‘00s are having a huge moment right now,” she acknowledges, and says in addition to chrome tips, you can expect to see more colored French tips, French tips with designs overlayed, and even the resurgence of the American manicure. “This is where the tip is a much softer, natural-looking white,” Humphrey explains. “Very nostalgic and becoming a huge hit on the celeb circuit.”
When choosing a color for chrome French manicures, Humphrey is a fan of shades that especially stand out when given the metallic spin. She says some of the best chrome colors to go for include lime green, gold, silver, and chameleon or duo chromes that shift color — that’s what Megan Thee Stallion wore, too.
But regardless if you’re in the mood for chrome or just classic French tips, Humphrey recommends getting the right tools in order before starting. “Use a nail art brush to paint the outline first, then fill it in using the brush from the bottle,” she instructs. “You can clean up any mistakes using a brush dipped in remover to really crispen up that smile line — I love Blanc by Essie for the perfect shade of white for a French mani.”
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